Paranal, La Silla, and APEX Update

Published: 28 Jan 2021

Paranal Observatory is in restricted operations, with almost all systems available for scientific observations: FORS2 and KMOS@UT1, UVES and FLAMES @UT2, SPHERE and X-Shooter@UT3, MUSE@UT4 with the AOF, ESPRESSO at the incoherent combined focus, OmegaCAM@VST, VIRCAM@VISTA, and Gravity/MATISSE/PIONIER @ VLTI. HAWK-I@UT4 recommissioning is foreseen for later in Q1. VISIR recommissioning is suspended until Q2 at the earliest. Regular operations with the NTT and 3.6m telescopes are ongoing at La Silla. Visitors are performing their observations remotely in designated visitor mode. APEX ended the year with restricted operations, almost 1300 hours of hours on sky, and the last run (ever) of one of the most successful APEX instruments ever, i.e., LABOCA. Currently scientific operations are suspended as the annual deep telescope and instrument maintenance is taking place. This period is aligned with the worst weather season for science at the site, the 'Altiplanic winter'.